My name is Otter Lieffe and I am so excited about the work of LGBT Books to Prisoners. Getting books into prisons is a massive undertaking and a crucial way to connect LGBT people in prison to communities outside, to empower and affirm and to shift some control back against the oppressive prison system.
After publishing my transfeminist novel, Margins and Murmurations, I contacted LGBT Books to Prisoners because I wanted to donate some copies of the book to their awesome project. Margins is a speculative fiction novel, with a focus on transgender, queerness, sex work and resistance to the state. I’m a trans woman and sex worker myself and felt like this book might be useful to incarcerated LGBT folks.
These words from Nicole Vosper, ex-prisoner and abolition activist:
"While there are no statistics of how many trans folk are inside, I know from the time I spent in prison that there are tons of queers, trans women & men and non-binary folk [who are] incarcerated. This amazing book can give much needed escapism to prisoners and ignite their radical imaginations for a different world."
Unfortunately even for authors, printing costs are high and including postage, it costs me around $10 a copy in the US. As I’m on a very low income, I realised I’d be able to donate maybe a maximum of 10 copies out of my own money, which although it’s something, also doesn’t feel like nearly enough. So we had the idea to crowdfund it – to create a crowdfunding campaign to put together funds to buy as many copies as possible for LGBT Books to Prisoners to then include in their distribution.
If you feel moved to support this project, if you’ve read the book and feel like it could be useful to folks inside, or if you just want to help LGBT Books to Prisoners in their valuable work, please donate something to this campaign. Literally every dollar or pound or euro will be helpful and as Pinkstart doesn’t charge fees for LGBT non-profits, everything will go directly to LGBT Books to Prisoners (minus unavoidable transaction costs).
If you’d like to support LGBT Books to Prisoners directly with a donation, you can do that too through the website: https://lgbtbookstoprisoners.org/. And check out the other amazing books on their wishlist: http://www.roomofonesown.com/wishlist/82
LGBT books to Prisoners is a donation-funded, volunteer-run organization that sends books and other educational materials, free of charge, to incarcerated LGBTQ people across the Unites States. They have been doing this for over 10 years and have sent book to more than 7,000 people in that time. Already in 2017, they’ve sent out 1,746 packages of books.
Otter Lieffe is the author of the newly published transfeminist novel, Margins and Murmurations. She is a working class activist, trans woman and sex worker and runs a LGBT-centered holistic clinic in Brussels, Belgium. For more information on Otter and her novel, check out www.otterlieffe.com